Adaptation Gap Report 2020 - Executive Summary

United Nations Environment Programme Technical University of Denmark Partnership ; World Adaptation Science Programme ; United Nations Environment Programme (2021)

In the lead-up to the Global Stocktake in 2023, the AGR aims to address three important questions: What are we doing today to adapt? To what extent are we currently reducing climate risks? To what extent will our adaptation trajectory help us reduce future climate risks? An answer to these questions will need to be formed in parallel with methodological advances and the generation of new global data in order to address data restrictions and methodological issues outlined in chapter 2 of this report. Building on currently available information (including scientific literature, internationally funded project documents and countries’ reports to the UNFCCC), this fifth edition of the AGR thus focuses on adaptation outputs, while laying the foundation for future AGRs to go further on observed and future outcomes in terms of risk reduction. The deep dive in the 2020 AGR is nature-based solutions for adaptation, given the growing connections and the potential for synergies between the climate and biodiversity agendas, and the urgent need for policy and action to secure and harness nature’s benefits. This is reflected in the designation of 2020 as the Super Year for Nature (with much activity postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic), the fifth UN Environment Assembly’s focus on Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. To date, much discussion of nature-based solutions has focused on climate change mitigation, but they also play a crucial role in adaptation.

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